It is a keen but not always fair criticism of the Pelagian position from that of Augustine.
His "semi-Pelagian" opposition to Augustine is dealt with by Prosper of Aquitania in his Pro Augustini doctrina responsiones ad capitula objectionum Vincentiarnarium.
The year before he had published his valuable history of Pelagian controversies, which his enemies considered favoured the views of the Arminians or Remonstrants.
He engaged in the Pelagian controversy with more than even his usual bitterness (Dialogi contra pelagianos); and it is said that the violence of his invective so provoked his opponents that an armed mob attacked the monastery, and that Jerome was forced to flee and to remain in concealment for nearly two years.
He taught quietly at Leiden till 1603, when Jakobus Arminius came to be one of his colleagues in the theological faculty, and began to teach Pelagian doctrines and to create a new party in the university.
Once begun the breach widened, until Luther could contrast "our theology" with what was taught at Erfurt, and by September he began to write against the scholastic theology, to declare that it was Pelagian at heart, that it repudiated the Augustinian doctrines of grace, and neglected to teach the supreme value of that faith "which throws itself upon God."
Church on this question, the Augustinian-Pelagian and the Calvinistic-Arminian, one in the 5th century and the other in the 17th.
While the authority of Augustine received lip-homage, the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church became more Pelagian, and in the Tridentine decrees and still more in the ethics of the Jesuits, in spite of the opposition of Jansenism, Pelagianism at last triumphed.
The question of the relation of divine and human will has been the subject of two controversies in the Christian church, the Augustinian-Pelagian and the Calvinistic-Arminian.
He took a decided view on the Pelagian controversy, confirming the decisions of the synod of the province of proconsular Africa held in Carthage in 416, which had been sent to him.
On the 1st of May 418 a great synod ("A Council of Africa," St Augustine calls it), which assembled under the presidency of Aurelius, bishop of Carthage, to take action concerning the errors of Caelestius, a disciple of Pelagius, denounced the Pelagian doctrines of human nature, original sin, grace and perfectibility, and fully approved the contraryviews of Augustine.
Certainly his polemic as a Christian against the Manichaeism of his youth constitutes a curious preface to his vehement rejection of Pelagian libertarianism.